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Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 16, 2015
For me, the entire high-rez "debate" is of little interest. The fact of the matter is I own and enjoy high-res recordings so from that perspective, which is the one I value most, reading or listening to people going on about how they didn't hear a difference or how I can't hear a difference is irrelevant. From a purely theoretical basis, we've seen a number of tests and blog posts that "prove" high-rez audio is a waste of time and money, but when tests and blog posts don't match reality, I file those tests and blog posts under "A" for Agenda or "IF" for If It Was Only That Simple.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 16, 2015
Good News! Qobuz was put in receivership last month and given until November 16th to find an investor or shut down. That deadline was extended due to offers put on the table and things have shaken out to reveal two potential buyers with two real offers. The Commercial Court in Paris will make its final decision regarding these offers on December 29th, and if all goes well, Qobuz will come out alive and well. Here's Qobuz:
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 10, 2015
Thanks to reader Stephen D. for the heads up on this oh-so-interesting news:
Introducing Hi-Res audio support
Close your eyes and imagine the musician is playing in the room. Today we’re rolling out high-resolution audio support, which gives you even higher quality music playback using Chromecast Audio. With support of up to 96KHz/24bit lossless audio playback, you can enjoy higher-than-CD-quality audio on your existing high fidelity audio equipment.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 08, 2015
Some people dismiss power products in hi-fi out of hand. One argument I've heard suggests that it's just plain silly to stick an expensive power cable at the end of a long line of cheap power delivery. Shunyata has just offered up a press release and short video that help dispel that myth while also offering measured proof of their power products efficacy.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 01, 2015
Each year Linn gives away, as in free, some lovely music. This year is no exception. I'll let Linn explain:
 |  Nov 10, 2015
Talk about your good news, bad news kinda day: Thanks to reader Chris L. for pointing me to this story on the French tech site igeneration. The company was put in "redressement judiciaire" yesterday, basically receivership, and must find an investor by November 16, yea just days away, or they'll be forced to close down operations. Seeing as Qobuz has been on the hunt for investor funds for over a year with no success, their future is not looking very bright. Sigh.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 10, 2015
International Business Times reports Tidal HiFi, the company's CD-quality streaming service, is a hit. Nearly half of Tidal's new subscribers since their much maligned press event in March have opted for Tidal HiFi instead of the lower quality Premium 320kbps service. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!!
“It seems like sound is back on the map,” said Pål Bråtelund, a strategic partnerships manager at Tidal. “It doesn't make sense to live forever with sound quality that was created for a dial-up modem.”
Michael Lavorgna  |  Nov 04, 2015
let's face it, vinyl and headphones are sexy

New York is a big state. This year's New York Audio Show takes up residence in the ("lovely") Hilton Westchester Hotel in Rye Brook, New York from Friday, November 6th, through Sunday the 8th. The Show promises 26 audio-system-filled rooms plus 11 headphone'd rooms as well as Live! music which should make for a relaxing, enjoyable show. But wait! There's more!

Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 29, 2015
image credits: Google

Cheap and easy2 (easy to get and easy to use). Google's new Chromecast Audio disc-shaped streamer ($35) connects to your WiFi network (802.11ac 2.4GHz/5Ghz) which allows you to remote control it from your iOS or Android device, Chromebook, Mac, or Windows laptop, while offering a 3.5mm analog out and optical digital out to connect to your DAC of choice. Google has teamed up with Spotify and Deezer so you can stream their streams through your un-smart hi-fi along with content from Google Play Music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 28, 2015
In three days I'll be heading to Denver, CO for the 12th annual RMAF. Billed as the largest consumer audio and home entertainment show in the United States with over 160 exhibition spaces filled with products from about 400 companies from around the world, there'll be plenty to see, hear, and report. I'll be focusing my attention on what's new in computer audio, lining up some future Q&As, seeing friends, and ideally hearing some great music that's new to me.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 21, 2015
I don't typically publish press releases unless they pique my interest. This one does:
Boulder, CO: 9/18/15: Last year veteran audio manufacturer PS Audio introduced Sprout, a small integrated amplifier designed to appeal to entry-level buyers and attract younger enthusiasts to audio. CEO Paul McGowan felt this step into untested waters was needed to help specialty audio survive and grow...
jon iverson  |  Sep 08, 2015
We've worked out another special deal for readers to celebrate the new Chesky Dunnun Kan release.

From now until October 31, 2015, readers of this website will get a 25% discount on the new 24-bit high resolution Dunnun Kan album and/or anything in Chesky's hi-res catalog on HDTracks.com.

To Get Your Discount:

Click on this link and then use CHESKYSTEREO25 for the offer code when you check out. (To go directly to the new Dunnun Kan album page only, use this link.)

Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 26, 2015
Bluesound Gen 2 family portrait (models starting at $299). All photo credit: Bluesound

I missed yesterday's Bluesound press event which I was very much looking forward to (remnants of food poisoning made the trip to NYC daunting). If you remember back to when we were first introduced to Bluesound (see Intro), the company sits under the Lenbrook Industries Limited umbrella along with NAD and PSB whose knowledge and technology helped build the Bluesound line. I was very impressed with every Bluesound piece of kit I reviewed back in 2014, so I was very excited to hear about Gen 2. Here's the scoop from Bluesound:

New York, NY, August 25, 2015 – Bluesound, the first wireless digital multi-room music system to fully support high-resolution audio, today unveiled Gen 2, an all-new platform that represents a reinvention of virtually every aspect of the product’s design and performance. Bluesound’s new line-up of multi-room wireless streaming digital music players, along with two entirely new models, features a fresh, compact industrial design, enhanced features and reengineered performance across the board.
jon iverson  |  Aug 07, 2015
We've worked out a special deal for readers to celebrate the new Chesky You're Surrounded release.

From now until September 7, 2015, readers of this website will get a 25% discount on the new 24-bit high resolution You're Surrounded album and/or anything in Chesky's hi-res catalog on HDTracks.com.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jul 22, 2015
I was holding up on talking about this story until it seemed like a real story. Well it does. Here's the crux of it; Apple charges a 30% fee to streaming services for every iOS customer that signs up for their service through the Apple App Store. So services like Spotify, Tidal, and Rdio bump up their regular $9.99/mo pricing to $12.99/mo in the App Store so they don't take the 30% Apple hit. Which makes Apple Music's $9.99/mo competitive streaming service a comparative deal. To add insult to injury these same streaming services cannot point out on the Apple App Store that you can get their service for $9.99/mo if you just buy direct. Nor can they include a link to their respective websites, offer a free promo (Apple Music does), or a family plan (Apple Music does) according to Apple's App Store guidelines. Is this fair?

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